Want even more than dazzling beaches, world-famous dining and Art Deco delights? Families, foodies and thrill-seekers will love these Miami resorts.
Miami doesn’t do anything by halves. Its beaches, food scene and nightlife are all among the best in the world, attracting celebrities, beautiful people and more than 16 million visitors each year to live the Florida fantasy. The city’s resorts are equally impressive, offering guests access to water parks, climbing walls, cooking schools and basketball courts.
Golfers, thrill-seekers and active families won’t need to leave this 300-acre (121ha) resort between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Set in exotic tropical gardens filled with birds and a 100-year old banyan tree, the newly renovated property has a chic Mediterranean feel, with marble walkways, gurgling fountains and pastel-colored colonnades. There’s a spa, several restaurants and a craft cocktail bar – but the new five-acre (2ha) water park is the real draw with seven white-knuckle slides and the country’s first FlowRider Triple for simulated surfing.
Spa aficionados will be in heaven in this sprawling North Beach resort devoted to wellness. A wellness concierge is on hand to book fitness classes and spa treatments, and even the Strand Bar & Grill has a dedicated wellness menu. Away from the spa, there’s a climbing wall and bike rental, while the hotel can arrange craft cocktail classes, deep sea fishing, wine and tequila tasting. Suites are bigger than most apartments, with full kitchens, balconies and deep soaking tubs.
Everything feels super-sized at this Coral Gables resort, which opened in 1926. Alongside the sweeping immaculate golf course, cooking school and huge spa, the sculpture-lined pool here is one of the largest in the continental US, filled with an astonishing 600,000 gallons (2.3 million liters) of water. But the hotel’s famous Sunday brunch is even more staggering, with live entertainment, unlimited sparkling wine, a sushi bar and a whole wall of desserts, including homemade marshmallows and ice cream topped with salted chocolate bacon.
When you’re craving long lazy days on the beach, this family-friendly resort is perfectly placed. On Collins Avenue within a stone’s throw of the ocean, the hotel is blissfully beach-focused, with free loungers and beach volleyball. There’s also a shuffleboard, an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, and all rooms have kitchenettes so you can whip up meals within moments of leaving the sand.
Located on its very own island, the Fisher Island Club is so exclusive that it can only be reached by ferry or helicopter. Residents here live in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the US, yet you can glimpse how the other live by booking one of 15 immaculate suites in the former Vanderbilt mansion, built in the 1920s. After a champagne check-in, discover the island’s spa, golf course, tennis courts, deep-water marina, theatre and one of the country’s only truly private beaches.
Families are in for serious pampering at this opulent hotel close to Bal Harbour’s designer shops. Quality time together is easy with an arts and crafts room, bike and kite rental, soccer field and even a kids’ afternoon tea, where they can gorge on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milkshakes and cake pops. By the two oceanfront pools, attendants offer sunscreen and fruit-infused water, while child-sized robes, Blu-ray DVD players and personalized goodie bags await in elegant rooms, all with ocean views.
Don’t expect activity-packed days and party nights at the Palms. This 1940s beachfront resort, set in immaculate tropical gardens, is all about laid-back living and making yourself at home. Think colorful decor and spa-like bathrooms, beach yoga classes, a large lagoon-style pool with private tiki cabanas, a children’s play area and an informal restaurant dishing up Florida favorites including classic key lime pie.
If poolside lounging bores you to tears, Acqualina guarantees there will never be a dull moment during your stay. You can sign up for painting workshops, scuba diving lessons and even professional photoshoots, or while away days on the basketball court or oceanfront soccer field. A water sports center for surf lessons and jet ski rental is also just a four-minute walk from the hotel. Head back after busy days to huge rooms, many of which have expansive kitchens, jacuzzi baths and private terraces.